Never knowingly undersolved.

Shirley O’Brien (Auster)

Posted by Andrew on September 6th, 2011


I was sorry to learn from Hugh Stephenson’s latest newsletter that Shirley O’Brien, aka Auster of the Guardian, died on 12 July at the age of 79. There’s an obituary from the Brisbane Courier-Mail here. Thanks to her, some of us here will never forget the expression “hump the bluey“. RIP

One Response to “Shirley O’Brien (Auster)”

  1. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for that, Andrew.

    I had seen references to Auster’s death recently but had forgotten that ‘Hump the Bluey’, a clue very dear to my heart, was one of hers.

    ” What Aussie swagmen do to obey Jesus’ instruction? (John 5:8) (4,3,5)”

    I loved smutchin’s comment that day: “I like the idea of the Australian vernacular edition of the bible having the line: “Strewth, Bruce,” said Jesus, “get up and hump yer bluey, why don’t ya.” ”

    And then [some self-indulgence here but it’s what made the clue really stick:] a couple of weeks later, from don [on my blog]::

    “Dave Ellison Said:
    Can anyone think of another expression (or word?) that would fit:

    H_M_T_E_L_E_ ?”

    Hmm It’s Eileen

    I’ll get my coat or, as they say in Oz, ‘hump the bluey’!”

    So – I’ve always remembered that expression.

    RIP Auster

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